embracing life and letting God

8.25.2010

A Day in the life...

...of our Homestead Homeschool.

I have been meaning to post pictures in conjunction with the homeschool meme "School Rooms" but have not had the chance just yet.  Well, today I had an opportunity to take a picture of ONE of our school rooms.  This is what makes schooling at home such an awesome blessing.


Reading Sonlight Readers
in the
Fortress of Solitude



From My Heart to Yours,
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8.24.2010

Menu Planning


This is my own homemade chicken that I try to keep on hand to share with anyone I know who is sick
[Find the recipe at The Tasty Kitchen by clicking the title above]

Well, it's that time of year again. School is in full swing, activities are filling up our calendars and mealtime can become very stress-FULL for momma's who don't have a plan.  As my husband always says, 'Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance".  I have to say it takes all my physical strength not to turn back into a 6 year-old child and roll my eyes violently.  And then I remember I am a grown up and must act as such. 


Momma's African Chicken
One of my favorites - A deliciously rich recipe full of many different flavors!

Inspired by Courtney at Women Living Well and her Tasty Tuesday:  How I Menu Plan, I wanted to share with you Momma's Menu Plan.

8 Weeks of Meals planned and ready to cook.  I usually do all of my cooking on a Saturday and maybe what I couldn't accomplish then the rest on Tuesday of that week.  It works well for our family. 

There are some duplicates in my plan because they are easy to prepare and taste delicious.



Deluxe Green Beans
Just might be the Best green beans I have every tasted!
My 9 y/o who hates green vegi's will eat this one.

I will share some of the recipes associated with the plan another day. 
Thank you for reading.


From My Heart to Yours,



























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8.23.2010

Monday's Muse




FOR TODAY


Outside my window...
Is the bright and beautiful sunshine pouring through my kitchen window.  It's going to be another scorcher today.

I am thinking...
I need the Lord to help me get my home in order.

I am thankful for...
The sweet chatter of my children's voices, so thankful that my home is not full of silence.

From the learning rooms...
First,  Jesus truly is the Prince of Peace and he alone gives me Peace beyond all understanding.  As well....Through the chaos and rebellion I have allowed in my life concerning my housekeeping skills, the Lord is showing me that I must lean on Him and learn routines and teach them to my children.

From the kitchen...
I am taking steps to get my life in order.  I have been menu meal planning and so far it is working great.  I spent Saturday cooking meals for this week.  I have 6 Weeks of meals planned on my calendar. 

NOTE:Maybe I can share my ideas here with you guys later.

I am wearing...
Uhhhhh....my pj's.  Moving on.

I am creating...
A spirit of peace in my own home by Leaning on my God and not REACTING to situations in my life with frustration and irritation. 

I am going...
On vacation sometime in the near future, by the Grace of God.

I am reading...
My Bible daily!  As well as...Too many books at one time.  'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austen, 'To Train Up a Child' by Michael & Debi Pearl, again, 'Out of the Mouth of the Lion', 'The Martyr's Victory' both by Emma Leslie and 'Yussuf the Guide' by George Manville Fenn (These last three I will be doing reviews on in September - stay tuned!)

I am hoping...
That I can get it all done without stressing out.


I am hearing...
Phineas and Ferb and the sprinklers trying to save our lawn and our new plants.

Around the house...
It's a bit of a mess but everyone is happy and getting ready for a day of school.

One of my favorite things...
Is Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Honeysuckle Scent Liquid Hand Soap.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
School, children's activities, read, a lot, and Trust the Lord will give me the resources I need to get it all done.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...


From My Heart to Yours,
 

Thank you to the Simple Woman and her lovely 'Simple Woman's Daybook' blog.  You can be next.  Join her here.


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8.18.2010

Celebrate Homeschooling

You don't want to miss this!


"Celebrate Homeschooling!"
We're going to celebrate the unique blessings of homeschooling, the beginning of another school year, our families, and the freedom to tailor our children's education to best meet their needs.

Join this wonderful On-line event and be re-invigorated as you begin another year of
Aventure in Homeschooling!

It's back to homeschool time and registration is open for the online Schoolhouse Expo, October 4-8. It's five days of top homeschool speakers, fellowship, and fun door prizes.

Save $5 per ticket! Register between August 16 and midnight August 22, and you'll pay only $19.99. Plus you'll receive over $200 in free E-Books.

You'll be inspired by speakers including: Zan Tyler, Dr. Jay Wile, Jeannie Fulbright,Carol Barnier, Diana Waring, Todd Wilson, Davis Carman, Kim Kautzer, Lee Binz, and many more!

A special teen track is planned--the entire family will definitely want to listen to these special sessions. We've also planned a special focus on a topic that touches every homeschool--writing. Plus, an array of other topics that will inform and inspire you throughout your homeschooling years.

Don't forget, MP3 copies of each session comes with your LIVE event ticket.

Two special preconference shows on August 24 and September 21 with Dr. Jay Wile, Jeannie Fulbright, and Kim Kautzer!

Register starting 12:01 a.m. on Monday, August 16.

An added benefit of being On-line means that if you cannot make the Live event, then the October Expo To Go is just your ticket! You'll reserve MP3s from all of the workshops. This week only, pay just $14.95!


Disclosure: I will be receiving an Expo-to-Go ticket in exchange for sharing the above information.
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8.16.2010

Building a Strong Marriage

 

Courtney at Women Living Well is having a wonderful end of summer challenge for those interested in "Assessing Your Marriage".  In addition she is having a give-away as she inspires women to take a deeper look into this 'Season' of their marriages. 

This is how I Build A Strong Marriage...
I must continue to remember those dating days and
what made me fall in love with my husbands in the first place.

It's almost unheard of  these days in the world we live in, but when I met my husband 23 years ago it was truly Love at First Sight.  He walked into the room and the Lord spoke to my heart, "You will marry that man, he will be your husband."   We had so much fun while dating.  He made me laugh all the time.  His ability to quote movie lines, create songs from whatever situation we found ourselves in and look at me adoringly when I had no make-up was amazing.  To this day, he continues to make me laugh.  Being married and having three children only adds to the 'situations' that feed his ability to laugh about life.



I Must Remember my sacred vows
To love, honor, cherish, and obey.  For Richer or poorer, sickness and in health, in good times and in bad.  I made those promises before my God and my husband.  As hard as that is some days the reward greatly out-weighs the destruction that can come when I want my own way.  I am an only child, so I tend to be more selfish than those who had to daily share with a brother or sister.  The Lord gave me this wonderful husband because he is the only one in this world that can love me unconditionally inspite of my flaws.  I promised to stick with him through thick and thin and that is what I intend to do until the day I die.

I Must Remember to ask my husband how I can be praying for him daily

How can I not?  My husband faces daily challenges with his job alone, stresses that I know God equipped him to maneuver.  Though he was created to be in this job, in this season, he needs daily encouragement. He needs my prayers to edify him and show him how much I care for him and his journey through faith in an evil world.

Remember to tell my husband how I admire him
Admiring him doesn't mean just looking adoringly or having favorable thoughts toward my husband.

ad·mir·ing [ əd mring ]


showing admiration: full of admiration for somebody or something

It means that I, in every look, action, word and thought try to show appreciation to my husband for all that he does to make our lives so blessed; show approval of the efforts he puts forth with work, our home, our marriage and our family; I am complimentary  flattering, favorable, deferential, positive, sympathetic, pleased him.  I tell him often how thankful I am that he works so hard for us, so that we can stay at home.  I don't deserve it and yet I am blessed with it.


I Must Remember to keep my priorities in line

Many days I run, run, run homeschooling 3 children, tending to their activities as well as keeping up with the duties I need to stay on top of around the home, I just want to crash in the evenings [read dive into my bed and hide under the covers].  But a real relationship takes spending time with one another, listening, talking, watching shows together, intimacy.  If I don't make my husband a priority over all of the stuff I want for myself how are we going to grow closer.  My time with him is the foundation of our marriage.  All of the other benefits I enjoy are just icing on the cake from having
6.Remember to follow your husband's lead and vision for your family.

Remember to respect your husband
Respecting my husband means that I have chosen to go through this life with him not living in constant offense or with a perfectionist attitude.  I have chosen to remember that he is flawed as I am flawed.  Therefore, neither of us being perfect, I speak to him, look at him and treat him with respect whether he deserves it or not.  When I sense that he would like something done because it is causing him stress then why not bless him and do it for him?  How many days have I been overwhelmed with caring for little ones and he just took control and said "let me to that for you honey"? 

I Must Remember to keep kissing him like you mean it!
Oooo!  I like this one a lot.  I never like forgetting this one. Kissing my love like I mean it just seems to bring wholeness to us both.  When my children 'catch us'  kissing, though they are "yuck" and "gross" in the background they see what true love really is.  They see that at the end of the day daddy and mommy really do love each other and they feel safe and secure in the world, if only for a moment.



We are a little older now and hopefully a little wiser.  We have grown so much together starting as teenagers in love, him 18, me 16.  We have experienced a love only God can give.  We have served one another the best we both knew how.  We have suffered loss together that no human should have to experience and yet we drew closer to one another.  We have created life together in three of the greatest gifts God has ever and will ever give us in this lifetime.  It is ALL worth it!  Because at the end of every day I have him to love me and I to love him.

No matter what season you are in, God longs for you to follow his design for marriage.

From my heart to yours,
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8.15.2010

Sunday's Sense and Sensibility


He who is holy,
He who is true,
“He who has the key of David,
He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”
-Revelation 3:7

The Lord is my Doorkeeper!
[inspired by a message from Jentezen Franklin]

Open doors give access, closed doors do not give access.

Oh, the precious gifts and blessings of Doors the Lord opens for us.  The absolute delight within us when God shows us through to that place of destiny He in-grafted into our DNA when He created us.  There is such great peace and satisfaction knowing we have not chosen a path of our own out from under the Lords covering.  The temptations and the struggles may have been great as we approached this new level but He carries us through as we lean on Him fully and not on our own understanding.

So many of us, living by our feelings, our flesh see things of this world that we want.  Those things that are not God's will for our lives but seem to bring pleasure to those around us.  We WANT what others have thinking their lives are perfect and we go knocking down those doors that God never intended for to ever cross the threshold of. 

"I am the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live). He will come in and he will go out [freely], and will find pasture." -John 10:9

A closed door is for...

PROTECTION  - He protects us from bad relationships, decisions and situations. He protects us from those who would take it upon themselves to be the Doorkeepers of our lives instead of God.

At His word, the sound of His voice, He can move doors that the enemy would use someone to block your way into. 

Isaiah 6:4 says, "And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke." 

When God protects you and moves your door nothing can stop you from accomplishing everything He created you to do. 

Do you have those times when some one calls and says "We're in the area, can we stop by?"  If you are anything like our family you run to quickly clean the family room and blitz the kitchen as fast you can.  Then you grab all of the laundry and through on the bed and *SLAM* shut the door behind you.  You're hiding the mess, those unsightly things you don't want anyone to see.  Well....

A closed door is for...
PRIVACY -  Privacy of the unclean, unkempt areas of our lives that only He can cover with His Grace and in the Secret Place set you free from your 'mess'.  No one can cleanse you of the mess you deal with within.
God says, 'I can handle those unclean areas.  I will deal with all of that mess that you don't want anyone to see.' He WILL do His work deliver you.
He says, "I shut doors no man can open."  "I open doors no man can shut."

There will be times when others will try to block, delay or hinder your hearing from the Lord.  But God, can handle whose who get in your way as you LEAN ON, RELY ON AND TRUST IN Him!

“I know your ways. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name." -Revelation 3:8

Pleading the Blood of the Lamb, the Spotless Lamb, Jesus Christ

The Israelites, in captivity in Egypt, were instructed to place the blood of a spotless lamb on the doorposts of their homes.  For where the Blood was applied The Destroyer could not bring death and destruction to that home.  

The same applies to our homes today.  Instead of the blood of a spotless, physical lamb we have the Perfect Lamb of God, His Son Jesus and the Blood he shed for us to wash away our sin.  As we Plead the Blood of Jesus over the Doorpost of our lives, our homes The Destroyer can not enter and rip our marriages, our families, our children lives, to shreds.


Trust in Him with your WHOLE Heart!
 From my heart to yours,
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8.03.2010

Titus 2 Tuesday


"GOD'S GIFT - A wise woman doesn't take anything for granted. 
She is thankful to be loved and seeks to make herself more lovely." -Debi Pearl

I have two of the most important jobs in the whole world, that I love!  Jobs as old as time and both are vital to the ministry, health and welfare of my family and their future. 

Wife and Mother. 

These blessings have been bestowed upon me with a great calling, by a Great King. I have been called to serve in both positions with honor, love and diligence of service.  Of utmost importance on my heart today is my position as Wife.  I may step on some toes today ladies, but if you bear with me I believe, with all of my heart, you will be challenged by a loving God to look inward.  Let the Lord's gentle nudge change, soften your heart for His Glory.   I can honestly say that I have sinned the greatest in this area.  But by the Grace of my God...

wife [ wīf ]

man's spouse: the woman to whom a man is married

The lawful consort of man; a woman who is united to man in the lawful bonds of wedlock; the correlative [ the existence of one in a certain state depends on the existence of another ] of husband.

I have not always taken my calling as wife as seriously as I should.  At times I have been filled with pride and taken many falls.  I have lived out of a selfish flesh and have reaped the fruits of those shameful acts.  I have failed to honor the promises I made before my God and to my husband more times than I can count, seeking to satisfy my own desires above those promises.

Thankfully, I have their forgiveness and unconditional love.  Steadily, happily, I am learning what really makes my marriage a Great marriage.  It has never been easy but absolutely worth it. 
cov·e·nant [ kúvvənənt ]
contract, arrangement, covenant, treaty, promise, pact, settlement,
bargain, understanding, deal, compact, bond, concord

I made a covenant with my husband, almost 20 years ago, on my wedding day to love, honor and respect him as my husband made the same covenant promise to me.  Honor.  Respect.  What do those two words mean to your husband?  Everything!  A woman will say that Love is everything to her.  But, a man, what inspires him, empowers him, gives him the fire to get up every day and work to support his wife and family?  Honor and respect!  Most importantly from you, his wife.

"Though a husband may not deserve respect and a wife may not feel any respect, contemptuous speech never touches the human spirit in a positive and lasting manner.
The Bible reveals that a wife's respect for her husband is as powerful as her husband's love is to her."
-Dr. Emerson Eggerich

God is not going to judge my job as wife, the one He entrusted to me from the foundation of the world, on how clean or well decorated my home is or how I 'entertained' the world.  He is not going to ask me "in every thing you did to make your home work did you make sure to 'keep up with the Jones', doing it their way instead of Mine?"  NO. 

My Heavenly Father is going to look at how I fulfilled his Word "...the wife must respect her husband." (Ephesians 5:33)  Have I truly respected my husband with all that I am? 

He knows whether or not I submitted myself to serve my husband even when he may not have deserved it. 

God knows when I grumbled under my breath because my husband did not speak to me as tenderly as I wished or did not do something the way I thought he should do it. 

God heard every time I criticized my husband behind his back to family or friends instead of blessing and serving him in love. 

I am not a doormat.  But, I am a wife that helps meet the needs of my husband according to Genesis 2:18 "Now the Lord God said, It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him." 

Are you helping your husband minister a godly marriage to the world?  Or, is the world hearing you grumble about how bad your husband is and how he never does it your way?  It's time for some straight talk sweet friends. 

God did not make us wives to boss our husbands around.  He isn't our punching bag or doormat when our selfish wants and feelings (read HORMONES) rule over us.  God didn't bless us with a husband to do our jobs for us.  The moment he walks in the door after work we can not always dump the kids, hand him our honey-do list and bolt for the door because we 'can't handle it anymore!'  He is there to help us but he is not our 'dumping ground'.

What would happen if our husbands "just couldn't handle it anymore" at work and was constantly telling his boss, " I can't handle this project.  Here.  You take care of it."  What is going to happen?  You got it. No more job. 

Seeking more and more activities outside of the home to satisfy our own desires sacrifices our time with our husbands and our families when they need us to be there for them.  They may not tell you but they do need you. 

Our first ministry must be in our home and then to the world. Please don't read more into this than it is.  I am not saying never leave your family.  I am saying serve your family first, take care of them and the Lord will bless the fruits of your labor.  Seek Him first and He will give you opportunities to enjoy times with other moms and friends - times of great refreshing.  We simply must make sure we are not putting our lives before our marriage and our family.

"One is not better than the other.  TOGETHER they are beautiful!"
-Mrs. Lorrie Flem

God gave us that blessing of a husband to model His 'marriage' relationship with us; He is our Bridegroom and we are His Bride.  Would you look at your Lord the way you look at your husband?  Would you treat your Lord the way you treat your husband?  Would you speak to your Lord the way you speak to your husband? 

"The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart,
and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.
For out of the overflow of man's heart his mouth speaks." -Luke 6:45

In my daily trust in the Lord for my marriage I remember that how I act and speak to my husband today makes a difference tomorrow.  The Lord expects me to treat my husband the way He (God) intended me to treat him, not the way he deserves.  I certainly don't deserve what I am getting because I get heaven and deserve hell.  My husband gets my best because God told me to give it to him.   

My idea of submitting to my husband is not the world's ugly 'submission is slavery' slogan.  When I submit to my husband I reap heavens reward.  The world is screaming at me to "do my thing" or I will never be happy.  I vehemently disagree!  I don't want to be a part of the devastating statistic of divorced single mom's because I served my flesh and sacrificed my marriage, my family, my home.  (Note:  I've said it before we are not doormats.  We are not man's stomping ground.  Marriages filled with physcial/mental abuse - those situations are never acceptable!)

So your challenge today ... Show your husband Respect, honor and love.  When you speak, allow your words to bring life to your husband.  Allow your words and actions to determine the joy you experience in your marriage.  As you go through your days ask yourself...

"Are my words, my attitude, my facial expressions, my body language encouraging my husband?" 

"Am I showing my husband respect and honor with ALL of me, spirit, soul and body?" 

What will men do for your respect and honor?
"Think of what men will do for honor. They will take bullet shots from an enemy. While everyone is running out of a burning building, men will run up 20 flights of stairs to save lives. They will shoot the bear and laugh about it later. They are just wired this way - and isn't it glorious that they are! " -Courtney @ Women Living Well

You will be amazed when that twinkle re-ignites in his eyes as your husband feels your respect and your honor and your love for him.

He will walk a little taller.

He will have a new spring in his step.
His smile will be brighter.

He will be empowered as he goes through his day at work and home.

He will seek to love you and bless you as much as he can. 

It is said...
"A wise woman builds her home.
A foolish woman tears it down one selfish act or word at a time." -unknown

How firm is your foundation?  The work is hard and requires diligent endurance some days.  In the end, the reward is a Fabulous Marriage blessed by the Lord God Almighty. 
Heaven on earth!

From my heart to yours,









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